Fields of Greene
CATEGORY: Cast Angst
SPOILERS: Up to "The Letter"
ARCHIVE: Sure, knock yourself out. Just tell me where.
DISCLAIMER: Well, I currently have Carter tied to my bed, don't worry, I'll give him back in enough time for the next new episode… He says I don't own him, but then again, he's just trying to get a spanking… WB can keep the rest of the characters, but I'd eventually want to borrow Dave, Doug, and Luka to spice things up.
AUTHOR'S NOTES: Yeah, I didn't think I'd do this either, but I felt compelled to write this… each chapter is from the point of view of a different person from Mark's life.
SUMMARY: Mark's friends reflect on their relationships with him after his death.
I worshipped him.
I was a young med student and he… he was the chief resident. He was THE person to look to, everyone respected him, and everyone knew he was the person to go to if something went wrong. He was like this deity… so far above me. I guess it's a feeling that all med students have, especially third years. For him to even be willing to talk to me, to help me, and not dismiss me off as some kind of annoyance… it was a blessing.
He was a great teacher, a much better one than I was when I first had med students of my own. As I grew to learn later, his patience was immense. He loved to teach, he loved medicine, he loved his work, and it showed in everything he did. He was never one for regulations and rules, but for patient care, for caring, he was the one to follow.
There was this one shift; it was just before I was to start my internship, and I'd gotten in trouble for getting drunk on shift after finding out that I'd matched at County. I was able to save my career and my ass, but was banished to night shift in the ER. It was a particularly busy shift and we were horribly understaffed. No matter what we did, the patient load in the waiting room wouldn't go down and we simply couldn't seem to get to everyone. Mark did something then that, well, frankly I'd never even considered. He gathered the staff and supplies and began to treat patients right in the waiting room. I was amazed at that when I commented later on it, he shrugged it off. Novel, creative solutions to problems, they could always be depended upon coming from Mark.
I realized during my surgical internship that I wasn't happy; I wasn't doing what I wanted. I wanted… well, I wanted to be like him. He was my role model, my mentor, and my teacher. After my change of specialty, I found that I began to flourish under his leadership. We all flourished under him, he inspired us.
More than just a role model though; he was a friend to me. What can you say about someone who saves your life? Had he not been there when Abby caught me shooting up in the trauma room, I wouldn't have a job now. I most likely wouldn't be alive. I was self-destructing. I was angry at the time about being forced into rehab and then coming back to drug tests and restrictions, but time has made me realize how much Mark really stuck his neck on the line to help me.
When I first learned of his tumor that day in the ambulance bay, I was shocked, needless to say. He seemed to recover, got married, and had a daughter. I was relieved, we all were. He'd had so much unhappiness in the time we'd known him; he seemed to finally be happy. We'd made jokes that he had some kind of black cloud hanging over his head, but little did we know that black cloud would strike with full force once he finally found the happiness that eluded him so long. The tumor was back, this time inoperable. We watched him rapidly deteriorate in front of our eyes.
That last day, I will never forget it as long as I live. He looked at me, encouraged me one last time, and handed the gauntlet to me. It's ironic, really. In my med school days I would have JUMPED at the chance to fill his shoes, now that I'm expected to, I find that I really wish I didn't have to, nor do I want to. How do you take the place of someone who had the respect of everyone in the department? How do you live up to a legend? How do you go from being just a loyal follower to the leader, when all you want to do is run to the leader for advice?
Kerry confirmed this change of power again, the day that we found out about Mark's death. Emptying his locker, it almost felt like sacrilege. I wanted to cry out that we had to leave it untouched, leave it there with the nameplate attached until everything seemed more real. Yet, I knew that we couldn't, that I couldn't. So I slowly removed everything… until I came to his stethoscope. It was like going to the rock and roll hall of fame and touching the guitar of some legend. I didn't feel worthy. Who was I to try and replace Mark? I carefully exchanged it with my own. Part of me knew I shouldn't, and I planned to explain it to Elizabeth later on, and even give it back to her if she wanted it. I just… I needed to feel his inspiration today. I needed his guidance and to remember all I learned from him. I needed to remember who had taught me medicine in the first place. It was homage to the man I worshipped, the teacher I will always strive to be like, and the footsteps I'd have to try to follow.
Goodbye, Mark. I'll try to make you proud.